Sunday May 30, 2021

Flower Moon

Some Party is a newsletter sharing the latest in independent Canadian rock'n'roll, curated more-or-less weekly by Adam White. Each edition explores punk, garage, psych, and otherwise uncategorizable indie rock, drawing lines from proto to post and taking some weird diversions along the way.

Dooms Children: "Flower Moon"

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Late last year Alexisonfire's Wade MacNeil teased a collaboration with the Romano brothers, working with the wildly prolific Attack In Black clan on what he described as "a cozy record for punks that are now hippies who still love Discharge but also now understand that the Grateful Dead are the world's best band." The fruit of that apparent contradiction's now revealed, with Dooms Children debuting their first single through Alexis' longtime label Dine Alone Records. You can stream the psych-rock group's slow-burning "Flower Moon" wherever you get your audio.

The song comes accompanied by a video from Montreal director Brian Shannon featuring pro street skater Annie Guglia (she's tapped to be a member of Team Canada when skateboarding makes its Olympic debut this year).

In a press release, MacNeil commented:

"This song is about putting back together the pieces of a life that's been shattered...feeling a little rough around the edges from what you've been through, but excited about what's to come, 'cause you don't know what's going to happen next."

Dooms Children recorded off-the-floor in Welland, Ontario with Daniel Romano co-producing, featuring percussion from Ian Romano (Daniel Romano's Outfit, Career Suicide) and additional guitars from Patrick Bennett (Mountain Dust).

Alexisonfire most recently released the one-off singles "Season of the Flood," "Familiar Drugs," and "Complicit." The songs arrived as the popular post-hardcore group's first new studio material since 2010's Dog's Blood EP. In the years between, MacNeil's been involved in numerous projects, notably fronting the UK hardcore group Gallows, performing with his solo outfit Black Lungs, and scoring a handful of feature films (often collaborating with filmmaker Jay Baruchel).

Dany Laj and the Looks: "You & Me"

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Sudbury power-pop act Dany Laj and the Looks have a hopping new single out, with the lively "You & Me" offering a second preview of the group's fast-approaching LP, Ten Easy Pieces. The track arrived alongside a kinetic video from director Ryan Thompson that finds Laj and bassist/vocalist Jeanette Dowling on an enviable tropical vacation. Granted, it's one that's interrupted by a sea monster, but at this point, I'll take anything.

In a press release, Laj commented:

"'You & Me' is a sixties-esque pop love blender with seven lines of lyrics, containing seventeen words slapped together with drums, bass, guitar, vocals, keys and tremolo. It's a vacation on your favourite pure-pop island."

Laj self-produced Ten Easy Pieces at La La Pop Shoppe in Sudbury, with Jesse Gander (Wares, Woolworm, Necking) mixing and mastering from Vancouver. The songs featured on new the LP were selected from over three albums worth of material written between tours before the pandemic. Look for the record, the follow up to 2019's Everything Old Is New Again, on June 11 through We Are Busy Bodies.

Heavenly Blue: 8 Tracks

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Just a few short weeks after Sewercide Records sold out the band's demo cassette, Halifax garage rockers Heavenly Blue are back with their first studio release. 8 Tracks delivers just what it says on the label, featuring a mix of newly available songs and re-recorded versions of the fuzz-washed outlaw grit from the demo. The lo-fi group features Booji Boys members Cody Googoo, Adam Ledrew, and Justin Crowe, with Alastair Macdonald. Truro blues musician Garrett Mason plays harmonica on the record as well.

The new set's available on cassette from Don't Wanna Talk Records or digitally at Bandcamp.

With a pair of Heavenly Blue releases under his belt and the three recent Gemstones EPs, it's turning out to be a remarkably productive year for Cody Googoo. The Booji Boys, certifiably Canada's best musical export, last released the Tube Reducer LP in 2019. They recently appeared on Sewercide's Seaside Sickness comp with a smattering of like-minded mutants.

Badge Epoch: "Galactic Whip"

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Toronto multi-instrumentalist Max 'Twig' Turnbull recently announced Scroll, a "journal album" that plunges the session archives from over eight years of collaborations. The 19-song, 90 minute trove's arriving under the name Badge Epoch, a bit of a titular serve from Twig's ongoing jazz/funk group the Badge Époque Ensemble. The set features material recorded with the Ensemble, recordings featuring the psych-jazz group The Cosmic Range, collaborations with Matthew "Doc" Dunn, and more. In a statement, Turnbull refers to the ambitious record as:

"a cosmic hodge podge of funk, jazz, ambient techno, aggressive guitarmonized rawk, musique concrète, and hip hop."

Turnbull began compiling material for the record in 2017, enlisting Toronto sound artist Andrew Zukerman (aka Fleshtone Aura) to cut, paste, remix, and sequence the eventual LP from these raw studio tracks. Turnbull commented:

"My instruction was to cut things up, open windows, slice, dice, what have you... Eventually this turned into 4 discrete cycles of music."

Our first preview of Scroll is the sprawling "Galactic Whip," a 12-minute space-funk jam featuring Jay Anderson on drums, Andy Haas on sax, Tony Price programming, and Ed Squires on conga. The song comes paired with a trippy new video from Alex Kingsmill of Beyond Wonderland Films, featuring illustrations by Zukerman.

Scroll arrives as a double-LP set from Telephone Explosion, due August 20. It follows the Badge Époque Ensemble's recent Future, Past & Present release, a companion piece to their 2020 LP Self Help.

The Effens: "Venom Denim"

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Toronto glam rockers The Effens have another new single online, with the grungy "Venom Denim" arriving as the latest preview of the group's forthcoming Eventually EP. The song explores what's a failed relationship leaves behind, as the band revealed in a press release:

"You can never truly take away the parts of your life that an ex has helped shape. 'Venom Denim' is about all the marks and residue left, even after you've broken free of a relationship... There are a lot of things that appear to be 'love' on the surface. 'Love' can fade and be replaced by the fear of being alone, comfort, codependency, lust, or even hate. You may not notice that what you're feeling isn't 'love' anymore."

Eventually arrives on July 30 through Hidden Pony Records. "Venom Denim" is the fourth song to arrive in the last few months, following the title track, "Things You Can't Take Back" and "Pavement Age." The Effens features vocalist Austin Nops, guitarist Paul Theo, bassist Hannah Edgerton, and drummer Fabian Oblivion. Eventually follows the quartet's 2019 EP Unsafe.

The Bare Minimum: "Bitter Pill"

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Toronto's four-piece punk group The Bare Minimum has a hard-hitting new single out titled "Bitter Pill." The track arrived alongside a video that mines 80s video game nostalgia to great effect, reimagining the NES classic Punch Out in a few surprising ways. It follows a recent visualizer showcasing the band's "Echo In My Head," a video that, like this one, ultimately found itself preoccupied with the manic weirdness of Nicolas Cage.

The Bare Minimum features guitarist/vocalist Cam Gray, guitarist Mick Hutchinson, bassist Donnie Hopper, and drummer Chris Nikolaidis. The band recorded with Devon Lougheed at SuperBonBon Sound.

Nap Eyes: "Read Yr Mind" (Time XL Remix)

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Halifax indie heroes Nap Eyes mine a similar vein of nostalgia in their new video, pairing quirky the Time XL remix "Read Yr Mind" with a dizzying collage of mid-90s PC imagery. I'm shocked, if not a little concerned, at how vividly I remember the Windows 95 screen savers that make up the brunt of the video. Michael Bigham edited the piece.

"Read Yr Mind" is a hyperpop reworking of "Even Though I Can't Read Your Mind," a track from Nap Eyes' recent LP Snapshot of a Beginner. As the electronic side-project of guitarist Brad Loughead and drummer Seamus Dalton, Time XL is uniquely suited to tackle this material. The remix appears on Nap Eyes' playful new EP When I Come Around, a four-song set that also features a shockingly sincere Green Day cover and a take on Bonnie Raitt's classic "Thank You."

Nap Eyes released Snapshot of a Beginner, their fourth LP, in early 2020 - with touring set to ramp up just as the pandemic took hold. The album arrived collectively from Royal Mountain, Jagjaguwar, and Paradise of Bachelors.

Dusted: "They Don't Know You"

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Brian Borcherdt's slow-burn solo vehicle Dusted recently shared the second single from III, debuting "They Don't Know You" along with what's described as "the ultimate isolation video." The clip finds the Holy Fuck musician demonstrating some extreme social distancing by performing solo atop Nova Scotia's picturesque Cape Forchu Lighthouse. You can find the clip on YouTube now.

"They Don't Know You" features guitarist Anna Edwards, Bret Higgins on upright bass, and Robbie Grunwald on Wurlitzer. Borcherdt recorded at Toronto's Palace Sound with Chris Sandes engineering, also tracking some portions at his home studio (he's residing in Canning, NS). The 12-song LP arrives June 30 as the follow-up to 2018's Blackout Summer.

With the alt-electronica group Holy Fuck, Borcherdt released Deleter in January of 2020 through Last Gang.

N0V3L: "Falling In Line"

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N0V3L's first full-length arrived last week alongside a video for the album track "Falling In Line." The Alan Kohl-directed clip strings together an array of vintage footage to create an absurdist commentary on the societal forces that pull our strings. You can find the video on YouTube now.

Non-Fiction arrived last week on Calgary's Flemish Eye and Meat Machine Records in the UK. It's the Vancouver post-punk group's first full album, following their 2019 debut EP NOVEL. The band recorded the 11-song set between 2017 and 2020 with Bryce Cloghesy (Military Genius, Crack Cloud) producing and mixing.

Fox Run: Distress Signals

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Barrie-based melodic punk group Fox Run has a new EP in the wild. The six-song Distress Signals arrived last week, collecting the one-off digital singles the band's released across the past year. If you've missed them in the lead-up, these songs sound huge - hitting on just the right mix of vocal grit, overblown instrumentation, and melody to feel like some great lost No Idea act from the Punknews heydey. You can find the set at Bandcamp.

Fox Run features Dave Smith, Tyler Broydell, Randell Stringer, Evan Smith, and Matthew Galbraith (also of The Highdives). The band recorded with producer Jeff Wardell at Your Productions.

Gulfer: "Look"

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Montreal's mathy emo-revivalists Gulfer recently shared a two-song split with the Marquette, MI quartet Charmer. While the bands have yet to meet in person (a pandemic will do that), they've nevertheless established an online kinship in the wake of their respective 2020 full-lengths. You can hear both songs, Gulfer's "Look" and Charmer's "Diamond (Sprinkler)," streaming at Bandcamp now. The split arrives jointly from No Sleep, Top Shelf, and Royal Mountain Records.

Gulfer released a self-titled 13-song full-length last October through Royal Mountain and Topshelf. The group features guitarist/vocalists Vincent Ford and Joe Therriault, bassist David Mitchell, and drummer Julien Daoust.

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Some Party is Adam White's misguided quest to share the latest in Canadian garage rock, punk, psych, and more. Subscribe and get it in your inbox more-or-less weekly. Your information's always kept private, and unsubscribing is easy.

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